- Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, takes you inside the team as only she can throughout the season with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #AskKerith
When I put out a call for Ask Kerith questions, fans asked if the following players might come back to the Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins, Quinn Cook, Festus Ezeli, Glenn Robinson III and Omari Spellman.
Fans are also very curious about Jeremy Lin, whom I talked about in the previous mailbag.
I think it’s cool Warriors fans are loyal to past players. And maybe Kent Bazemore returning this year and Andrew Bogut coming back a few seasons ago feels like the Warriors should get the band back together all the time.
But for Cousins, Cook, Ezeli, Robinson III, and Spellman, I suspect the past is the past. The Warriors’ needs have changed, and the players on the current roster are the ones the team is invested in.
Specifically with Cousins, it’s true the Warriors center position could be a trouble spot. We saw the worst case scenario when Marquese Chriss, Kevon Looney, and James Wiseman were all injured at the same time.
But Cousins is not a good insurance policy for injuries when his injury history is serious. He has dealt with an Achilles tear, a torn quad, and a torn ACL. These injuries have understandably slowed his step. Nor would adding Cousins help the Warriors keep up their mission of being a top-10 defense in the league.
I liked Cousins and I wish him well. I hope he finds another NBA home, but it’s unlikely a reunion with the Warriors is coming.
On Instagram, @koolrodski wondered about Porzingis too. Nope, don’t see a trade happening. The Warriors love Wiseman. His athleticism and maturity impressed them right away. He is a long-term investment, part of a youth movement the Warriors need to join Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in their primes.
Furthermore, Porzingis has some question marks regarding injury history and inconsistency. Why add either of those things to your team in exchange for Wiseman? It would be wild if the Dubs dumped their No. 2 pick after only a few months for a guy with baggage and a massive contract, not to mention that Dallas Mavericks would be giving up on the blockbuster Luka Dončić-Porzingis pairing after barely two seasons? I don’t think the Mavs are ready to give up yet.
One more note about trades, because there were MANY mailbag questions about Kelly Oubre Jr ... Should a team inquire about Oubre, the Warriors will listen at least. He’s an unrestricted free agent.
However, Oubre has played well lately, finally settling in and excelling. The Warriors need him this season. He’s the stop-gap to get them through these months without Klay. His defense and scoring in February have been impactful. It’s also encouraging that coach Steve Kerr described Oubre as coachable and a good teammate.
The Warriors might be evaluating Oubre for a long-term relationship.
Jordan Poole is dominating the G League bubble, exactly what he needed to do. As of Thursday, Poole was second-overall in scoring, averaging 23.4 points per game. He’s getting 34 minutes per game, which is important for his development. Poole needed to play.
He’s averaging 45.2 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from 3-point range. His turnovers are concerning, at 4.7 per game, while assists come in at 3.7 per game
Mannion has played in seven games, averaging 32 minutes and 17.4 points per game. He’s putting up 7.1 assists per game and only 3.9 turnovers.
On Instagram, @ferndog72 and @dannyfantasma30 asked about Poole as well, with Danny thinking Poole will start playing more point guard. I think so too. Right now, Wanamaker is the backup and he has struggled sometimes.
Wanamaker is on a one-year contract. Poole is the Warriors’ investment, and when the G League bubble concludes, he should be in good shape with high confidence to re-enter the rotation.
Mannion might see some time, but Poole will be prioritized.
I bet this nickname will be Bazemore-approved. When I think of Baze, it’s his big grin. Mister Smiles. Doctor Smiles? Maybe he can arm wrestle Alen Smailagic for “Smiley.”
On Instagram, @ushouldseeadoctor asked a unique question: “Curious to know is it more difficult for left handers to see angles or run plays with right handed teammates? Do say Oubre or Baze see passing lanes to Wiseman that others can’t? Is there a special play for left-handers?”
It’s interesting that the Warriors added three lefties to the roster: Oubre, Wiseman, and Bazemore. I asked two Warriors sources about lefty plays.
One said Kerr will “design sets and plays out of timeouts to get players to their strengths. So for left handed players that’s often left hand drives downhill, but there are players who are right handed who prefer their left hand with their first step.”
Another source didn’t think the lefty versus righty approach was a big deal. “At most, you’re accounting for preferred ways to attack” when it comes to drawing up plays.
Greatly favoriting one hand is exploitable as well. Aside from the mechanics with one shooting hand for threes and jumpers, players work to be ambidextrous to drive and finish around the rim with both hands.
On Instagram, @johnjohnalim asked “How much different do you think this team would be if there was a full arena or even an old school Oracle crowd?
A spirited crowd only helps. The players have talked about how it is hard to manufacture energy without fans in the building. Things feel weird, quiet. Music helps, but the roar of fans reacting to plays and swings of momentum cannot be simulated.
Fans are the lifeblood of a home court advantage.
I’ve only met one other Kerith in person, and she was a golden retriever service dog for firefighters. Here’s her story.
We met last summer, truly a highlight in a crummy 2020.